HAPPY New Year!! Have you set your goals for the year ahead? What is important for you this year? What would you like to achieve?
Sit down for a moment and think carefully about the things you would like to do or change this year. Don´t get carried away and write a huge list! Whilst we understand you are eager to change and are full of enthusiasm and motivation, it is better to be realistic. Achieving 3 goals is much more rewarding than writing down 10 and failing nine!
So, let´s focus on 2 or 3 things you really want to achieve this year. Take your time to seriously think them over. Think about what each of them involves, reconsider them once or twice and then make your final top 3 and write them down.
Write them on a piece of paper and stick it on the bathroom mirror, the fridge, your laptop, somewhere you will see it every day. The next step is to make a plan of how you are going to achieve these things 💪.
A realistic plan
Make your goals achievable. It´s a great feeling achieving things, as small as they might be, once you have achieved them you will instantly have something to be proud of!
For example, if you write down that you want to lose weight this year, then what does that really mean? Losing weight is not a specific goal as such. You´re better off saying: I want to lose 5 kilos before the 1st of July (So 1 kilo per month). This is a sensible and achievable amount of weight to lose and the time limit will keep you focused.
Or if you want to read more books. Don´t say you want to read one book a week. You are better off starting with 1 book per month, that is a lot more attainable.
If ¨doing more sports this year¨ is on your list, then start your plan by finding out which sport you really like doing. It doesn´t make sense to sign up to a gym if you hate being inside, surrounded by sweaty people. So, don´t do put that down! You are likely to lose interest and after a few sessions, you´ll find yourself looking for excuses not to go until eventually you don´t… Your good intentions will be out the window, you´ll feel guilty about spending money and not going… and how bad will that make you feel?
If your goal is to do more exercise, then you must find something that you like doing, something that gives you energy and makes you feel great! So, if you prefer being outside, then you´re better off considering cycling, walking or running. Or if you like a bit of competition sign up for tennis or squash.
If you like meeting new people sign up for a team sport. Find out what is available in your area, decide which sport you like and put that on your list together with how often you would like to go.
Then make a plan of how you are going to achieve these things.
Making a plan is not easy, but a good and well thought out plan really is the foundation to achieving your goals. A poor plan will undoubtedly lead to your focus slipping and your good intentions fading away, which would be such a pity. So, on your list of goals for 2023, you must include a step-by-step plan!
Depending on your goal this step by step plan can be simple or more complex.
For example, if your goal is to eat less meat and more vegetarian meals, then you can make a meal plan per week. Ask friends to recommend vegetarian dishes or look online for new recipes and ideas for dishes. During the first month you could start by eating vegetarian meals once a week, then in the second month twice a week, etc. After a while you will discover how easy and tasty vegetarian cooking is and before you know it you will only be eating meat once a week…
If you want to lose weight, then your plan should be a bit more carefully put together. In some cases, you might even want to get the help of an expert, to make sure you have your diet and exercise mapped out in a staged and sustainable way. Involving other people shows how serious and motivated you are and easier to achieve as somebody is watching and motivating you.
If your goal is to lose 5 kilos before the summer holidays start, your plan could for example be made up of 3x sports a week in combination with a healthy diet of 3 healthy meals and 2 HEALTHY snacks a day, no fast food, no soft drinks and no added sugars.
The key here is that whatever steps you need to take, WRITE THEM DOWN. Making the steps visual, makes them easier to achieve.
Keep focused and measure your progression
By sticking your list somewhere within sight, you will be reminded of your goals on a daily basis. That´s good and you´ll find it to be a great motivator! Another great idea is to make a mood board with pictures of your end goals, by seeing what you are aiming for, it will motivate you and keep your spirits high.
Try to measure your progress, by creating a tick box schedule or keeping a small diary. Every week you can write down what you have achieved, if it was eating vegetarian twice that week, you might want to write down a nice recipe you want to try out. Which book did you read this month, how much weight did you lose? How often did you do sports this week and did you enjoy it? You can also download all kinds of Apps which keep track of your physical activities if this is one of your goals.
There are many ways to measure and it´s good to do. It will keep you focused, motivated and above all enthusiastic to keep going and achieving your long term goals.
And if you don´t reach your goals one day or week, or even month don´t worry! This is no reason to drop your plan altogether. Focus on the things you have done and be proud of yourself. To keep your motivation up, before you go to sleep every night, think of three things you have done and enjoyed during the day in line with your plan. Even if they are small things, like having a handful of nuts when you were really craving a chocolate bar, taking the stairs rather than the lift, taking a 30 minute walk during your lunch break instead of checking your social media, they are all significant steps in the right direction! If you get used to remembering and being proud of all of these things, you will discover you will want to do more of them every day!
So start today! Sit down, think, set your goals and make your plan. You can do it! And we would love to hear about your personal health plan as well. How cool would it be to share these stories and motivate each other and others in doing the same, so that by the end of 2023 we will all be healthier and happier!!